Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU) after 43 years came as a huge shock to many Europeans living in the UK.

The Leave vote is expected to affect an estimated three million EU nationals living and working in the UK (7% of total population) – around 455,000 of whom live in the British capital.

IBTimes UK spoke to several working EU nationals about ensuing turmoil and the long-term uncertainty they face.

'Betrayed' by the British vote

Nico, an Italian who has been living in London for the past nine years, said he felt betrayed by the British public, who he said had shown its true colours.

Despite not knowing what the future holds for EU nationals after a potential break up with the EU, the 30-year-old from Bari said he was planning to leave London, which would be "affected badly", where he explained many venues and businesses are owned by EU nationals. His plan is to move to Spain or France, if he decides against moving back to Italy.

Alex, a 27 year-old barista at Dark Sugars on Brick Lane, arrived in 2012 from Milan. The "surprising news" left him downhearted as "it means we're not brothers and sisters as I thought. It just divides us, period".

Struggles to come for local businesses

The young Italian said he was afraid about the potential departure of thousands of EU nationals. "It's not going to end up well. People will go away, they will lose arms to work."

Pedro, manager of Eathai Busabai restaurant in Shoreditch, who arrived from a town outside of Porto, Portugal, in 2012, said he had no plans to leave. However, the 30 year-old echoed the view London would have to face a human capital flight.

Citing London's global metropolis status, the manager warned that "if the majority of these people decide to go back to their countries this will have a massive impact on local businesses"/ He added that up to 95% of employees working front of house in his restaurant are EU nationals.

A Frenchman from Paris, Cyrille, 33, has been working as a contractor for a digital agency after arriving in London in February.

The young man, who works near Leicester Square, had already thought about what his options may be in the case of a Brexit. However, Cyrille was feeling "disappointed" at the prospect of having to move back after just four months, as he is uncertain how the French company he works for will operate under a non-EU Britain.